Japans fuel ammonia strategy

Last updated: 2 August 2023

As part of its pathway to carbon neutrality by 2050, Japan announced that it would deploy ammonia for use in thermal power plants. The Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry set out a target to co-fire a coal generation unit with ammonia at a rate above 50% and to develop a 100% ammonia-fired gas turbine by 2030. The initiative is part of a JPY 2 trillion (EUR 15.4 billion) fund established by the government to support clean energy innovation projects over the next decade. The government’s research and development institute, NEDO, has announced that it will support power producer JERA’s demonstration research for 20% co-firing of fuel ammonia in coal-fired power plants from FY 2021 to FY 2024. The government in October 2020 launched the fuel ammonia council to recommend pathways for developing domestic supply chains for ammonia. Given the country’s sizable industry and workforce capacity in international upstream, LNG imports and thermal power generation, the fuel ammonia plan has the potential to transition existing workforces and generate new supply chains and economic activity at the same time that it can help transition Japan to a low-carbon economy.

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